Vets clinic study okayed

May 13, 2018

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved a feasibility study for a Department of Veterans Affairs-operated medical clinic in the Marianas. The Marianas is the only U.S. insular area without full-time VA medical or mental health professionals serving veterans. I authored the language, mandating a study and included it in a larger bill, H.R. 5674, which passed, 20-2. The study is necessary to justify the cost to build and operate a VA medical clinic in the Marianas, which is my ultimate goal. In addition, my language (Section 213 of the bill) requires the VA to report to Congress on services the Department provides in American Samoa, Guam, and the Marianas, in four key areas: hospital care, medical, mental health, and geriatric services. I included this same report mandate in H.R. 4243, the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act of 2017, and H.R. 4242, the VA Care in the Community Act. Ten years of experience has taught me that setting multiple bills in motion can make the difference between failure and success.